I’ve just been in West London and so I took the opportunity of a bit of leisure time to find the house where my great-great grandfather lived for a time. This was in Bayswater, way back in 1880.
Having fired up my reluctant computer, something to do with the Firefox update I think (which was making it use 99 to 100% of its cpu to do something or other!) I headed over to TheGenealogist.co.uk and searched their old directories data base.
In the Kelly’s Post Office 1880 Court Directory I found an entry for Edward Adolphe Massey Hay as:
Hay Edwd.Massey,50Princes’ sq.BayswtrWÂ
I smiled as I noticed that he had lost one of his middle names in the listing as this is something that happens to me all the time!
Switching then to the old maps website http://www.old-maps.co.uk/maps.html I located the street just north of the intersection of Palace Court and Moscow Road in South Bayswater.
I then wrapped up warm, got out my A-Z and set off with digital camera to find, photograph and generally get an impression of the surroundings that once my great-great grandfather had called home.
The house was now part of a hotel and was one of a road of houses all designed to look the same, with at least 5 stories above the ground floor and a strange protruding 4 story frontage above their front doors.
I love walking down streets that my ancestor’s have pounded in their time. As I do it I try to imagine what it must have been like in their times when the motor car would not have claimed the street outside their front steps, transistor radios would not have been blaring and the aeroplanes flying overhead would not have been heard. Instead the clip clop of hansom cabs, that prevailed until 1908, would have been in their place.
Around the back I discovered a pleasant communal garden of the sort that is common in London and noticed that the design of the rear of the property was much more aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
If you would like to try to find your ancestor’s in the London Directories then check out the data sets at TheGenealogist.co.uk